OHIO VALLEY — Fans of southeast Ohio backroads touring on 2, 3, or even 4-wheels know what they like in a road; well-paved, scenic, twisting, and reliable miles of adventure.
Many know the Triple Nickel. Those same people have ridden Route 78 across southeast Ohio, they’ve climbed and yodeled Route 26 and 800 in the Switzerland of Ohio area north of Marietta, and they have wound around the Windy 9, and back again.
But most have not yet ridden southeast Ohio’s newest touring routes – The Serpent’s Bones.
In partnership with Vinton and Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureaus, a local rider, writer, and teacher has crafted hundreds of miles of tours with natural beauty, history, and a story to tell. From the Serpent’s Horns to its Belly, the area rolls and rocks with adventure.
“Over the last five years I’ve put 13,000 miles (plus) on my 1989 Honda TransAlp – all in (southeast) Ohio. I wanted to share some of what I’ve found with people passionate about touring and riding. There are hardly any vehicles on these roads. Many were built for the coal mining, which is gone, but the roads, and the countryside remain,” said Sarah Guthrie, creator of the Serpent’s Bones Touring Routes.
The bureaus encourage visitors to book a stay in the historic river town of Gallipolis to tour the southern routes, or visit Lake Hope State Park camping, cabins, and lodge to access the northern routes. See the railroad tunnels, cemeteries, covered bridges, old mines and former iron furnaces. Bureau supports say enjoy the area’s natural beauty, often in complete isolation. When you return to civilization, grab a bite to eat or explore the host community’s local shops and attractions.
“I had actually been working on a motorcycle route system when she (Guthrie) stopped into the Gallia Visitors Bureau to discuss this project. As a non-rider, I was thrilled to have someone to work with. Sarah has taken us on this project and we are very happy to help her create the southern routes through Gallia County by providing resources and suggestions,” said Kaitlynn Halley Assistant Director of the GCCVB.
The Serpent’s Bones currently offers nine routes and is still growing. Each route has its own story and is waiting for visitors to add the next chapter. For more information, visit www.serpentbones.com and discover southeast Ohio.